Kitāb al-Ghayba > First Principle: Necessity of Imamate
Hadith #1

والذي يدل على وجوب الرئاسة ما ثبت من كونها لطفاًفي الواجبات العقلية فصارت واجبة، كالمعرفة التي لا يعرى مكلف من وجوبها عليه، ألا ترى أن من المعلوم أن من ليس بمعصوم من الخلق متى خلوا من رئيس مهيب يردع المعاند ويؤدب الجاني، ويأخذ على يد المتغلب، ويمنع القوي من الضعيف، وأمنوا ذلك، وقع الفساد، وانتشر الحيل، وكثر الفساد، وقل الصلاح، ومتى كان لهم رئيس هذه صفته كان الامر بالعكس من ذلك، من شمول الصلاح وكثرته، وقلة الفساد ونزارته والعلم بذلك ضروري لا يخفى على العقلاء، فمن دفعه لا يحسن مكالمته، وأجبنا عن كل ما يسأل على ذلك مستوفى في تلخيص الشافي وشرح الجمل لا نطول بذكره ها هنا.

Proof for the necessity of supreme leadership of the Imam is that it is a divine favor and it is a necessary rational principle [that reason commands its necessity]. For example: knowing that God exists, a principle, which no duty-bound (Mukallaf) can be without. Don’t you see that it is evident that when a fallible group of people are without an awe-inspiring and venerable leader, who would stop the enemy, reprimand the criminal, seize the hand of the counterfeiter, and defend the weakling against the strong, mischief occurs, deceptions spread, debauchery increases and propriety becomes a rarity? And when they have a leader with these qualities, the situation is reversed, with integrity expanding and encompassing and mischief becoming uncommon and rare? This is very obvious and anyone with common sense would agree to it­ rendering anyone who disputes it unworthy of conversation. We have fully responded to any imaginable query with this regard in Talkhis Shafi and Sharh Jamal and will not lengthen the inquiry by mentioning them here.



Hadith #2

ووجدت لبعض المتأخرين كلاما اعترض به كلام المرتضى (ره) في الغيبة وظن أنه ظفر بطائل فموه به على من ليس له قريحة ولا بصر بوجوه النظر وأنا أتكلم عليه.

I found a recent writer criticizing the work of Sayyid Murtadha on the topic of occultation – wishfully assuming that he has discovered a line of reasoning and adorning his falsity as righteousness for someone who lacks talent and intellectuality. I would like to discuss his arguments.



Hadith #3

فقال: الكلام في الغيبة والاعتراض عليها من ثلاثة أوجه. أحدها: أنا نلزم الامامية ثبوت وجه قبح فيها أو في التكليف معها فيلزمهم أن يثبوا أن الغيبة ليس فيها وجه قبح، لان مع ثبوت وجه القبح تقبح الغيبة، وإن ثبت فيها وجه حسن كما نقول في قبح تكليف ما لا يطاق (أن فيه وجه قبح) وإن كان فيه وجه حسن بأن يكون لطفا لغيره.

Objection of opponents of Imamate He says: The discourse about occultation and criticism thereof consists of three stages: First objection: We prove to the Imamiyah that occultation involves an evil aspect (qubh), or that imposing obligations during occultation has an evil aspect. They will be required to prove that occultation does not involve any evil aspect, because if evil is involved, occultation becomes evil, though it may carry a good aspect, just as we say in imposing a duty that is beyond one’s capacity, involves an evil aspect, though it may involve a good aspect by being a Lutf (grace) for others.



Hadith #4

والثاني: أن الغيبة تنقض طريق وجوب الامامة في كل زمان، لان كون الناس مع رئيس مهيب متصرف أبعد من القبيح لو اقتضى كونه لطفا واجبا في كل حال، وقبح التكليف مع فقده لانتقض بزمان الغيبة، لانا في زمان الغيبة نكون مع رئيس هذه صفته أبعد من القبيح، وهو دليل وجوب هذه الرئاسة، ولم يجب وجود رئيس هذه صفته في زمان الغيبة ولا قبح التكليف مع فقده، فقد وجد الدليل ولا مدلول وهذا نقض الدليل.

Second objection: Occultation violates the reasoning of necessity of Imamate in every age, because, if the fact that the presence of a venerable and awe-inspiring leader in charge of the affairs, who leads people away from evil, makes his presence a necessary grace in every age and imposing of obligations without him wrong. This principle cannot be violated during occultation, since we would be away from evil during it if we were with a leader, who has these qualities. This is the proof of the necessity of such divinely-ordained leadership. However, the existence of a leader as such is not proved during occultation, nor is it proved that it is unjust to have religious obligations when he is not present. Thus it invalidates the proof.



Hadith #5

والثالث: أن يقال: إن الفائدة بالامامة هي كونه مبعدا من القبيح على قولكم، وذلك لا يحصل مع وجوده غائبا فلم ينفصل وجوده من عدمه، وإذا لم يختص وجوده غائبا بوجه الوجوب الذي ذكروه لم يقتض دليلكم وجوب وجوده مع الغيبة، فدليلكم مع أنه منتقض حيث وجد مع انبساط اليد، ولم يجب انبساط اليد مع الغيبة، فهو غير متعلق بوجود إمام غير منبسط اليد ولا هو حاصل في هذه الحال.

Third objection: It is to say that according to you, the benefit of Imamate is that it leads people away from wrong. However, this cannot be achieved with him being in hiding and therefore, his existence and non-existence have no difference. As his hidden existence does not correspond to his necessary existence you have argued for, your argument does not lead to the necessity of his existence during occultation. Therefore, though your argument indicates your point when he exists in the condition of administering the society, it does not prove an Imam, who is not running the affairs of the society, and in occultation the control of Imam on the society is also not proved.



Hadith #6

الكلام عليه أن نقول:أما الفصل الأول من قوله: "إنا نلزم الامامية أن يكون في الغيبة وجه قبح" وعيد منه محض لا يقترن به حجة، فكان ينبغي أن يتبين وجه القبح الذي أراد إلزامه إياهم لننظر فيه ولم يفعل، فلا يتوجه وعيده. وإن قال ذلك سائلا على وجه: "ما أنكرتم أن يكون فيها وجه قبح". فإنا نقول: وجوه القبح معقولة من كون الشيء ظلما وعبثا وكذبا ومفسدة وجهلا وليس شيء من ذلك موجودا ها هنا، فعلمنا بذلك انتفاء وجود القبح. فإن قيل: وجه القبح أنه لم يزح علة المكلف على قولكم، لأن انبساط يده الذي هو لطف في الحقيقة والخوف من تأديبه لم يحصل، فصار ذلك إخلالا بلطف المكلف فقبح لأجله.

Reply: The first segment of his argument that, “We prove to the Imamiyah that occultation involves an evil aspect,” is a mere promise that he makes. He should have explained “the evil aspect”, which he wanted to prove to the Imamiyah, so it would have been possible for us to consider it and reply to it. He has not done that and therefore his argument is inconclusive. If he asks, “Do you reject that occultation involves a wrong aspect?” Our response would be that wrong aspects are conceivable in the context of oppression, vanity, lie, debauchery and ignorance, and none of these are involved here. This leads us to reject the instance of any wrong aspect.



Hadith #7

قلنا: (قد)بينا في باب وجوب الامامة بحيث أشرنا إليه أن انبساط يده عليه السلام والخوف من تأديبه إنما فات المكلفين لما يرجع إليهم، لانهم أحوجوه إلى الاستتار بأن أخافوه ولم يمكنوه فأتوا من قبل نفوسهم. وجرى ذلك مجرى أن يقول قائل: "من لم يحصل له معرفة الله تعالى في تكليفه وجه قبح"لانه لم يحصل ما هو لطف له من المعرفة، فينبغي أن يقبح تكليفه.

Evil of belief in occultation of the Imam can be proved by stating that it removes hardships and hurdles from the duty-bound (Mukallaf), because by keeping away assistance of the Imam, which in fact is a divine favor, and in the same way, fear of people of being reprimanded by the Imam [if they commit disobedience] is not achieved. Thus it is a breach of divine grace on the duty-bound (Mukallaf) and that is why belief in occultation is evil.



Hadith #8

قلنا: (قد)بينا في باب وجوب الامامة بحيث أشرنا إليه أن انبساط يده عليه السلام والخوف من تأديبه إنما فات المكلفين لما يرجع إليهم، لأنهم أحوجوه إلى الاستتار بأن أخافوه ولم يمكنوه فأتوا من قبل نفوسهم. وجرى ذلك مجرى أن يقول قائل: "من لم يحصل له معرفة الله تعالى في تكليفه وجه قبح" لأنه لم يحصل ما هو لطف له من المعرفة، فينبغي أن يقبح تكليفه.

The answer to this would be that, which we have explained in the context of necessity of Imamate; that his administration of affairs and fear of his reprimand are not availed by the duty-bound due to their own stance, because they forced him to go into hiding by threatening him and did not empower him to run the society. Therefore, this is an evil that they have caused themselves. This is similar to a case where someone says, “Religious obligations with respect to a person who does not have knowledge of the existence of Allah, the Exalted, is wrong, since he has not availed the knowledge that is a grace for him. Therefore, committing him to religious obligations is wrong.” In the same way our adversary would answer a question as such – that the infidel did that on his own, because Allah assigned ways to His cognition and gave him the capacity to attain belief, and if he did not respect that and did not attain faith, he did that on his own and this does not render his subjection to religious duties wrong.



Hadith #9

فما يقولونه ها هنا من أن الكافر أتي من قبل نفسه، لان الله قد نصب له الدلالة على معرفة ومكنه من الوصول إليها، فإذا لم ينظر ولم يعرف أتي في ذلك من قبل نفسه ولم يقبح ذلك تكليفه، فكذلك نقول:إنبساط يد الامام وإن فات المكلف فإنما أتي من قبل نفسه، ولو مكنه لظهر وانبسطت يده فحصل لطفه فلم يقبح تكليفه، لان الحجة عليه لا له. وقد استوفينا نظائر ذلك في الموضع الذي أشرنا إليه، وسنذكر فيما بعد إذا عرض ما يحتاج إلى ذكره.

We reply that though administration of affairs by the Imam is not a blessing that the duty-bound enjoy during occultation, but that is something they caused themselves; and should they provide the Imam with power to run the affairs, he will appear and administer the society and his grace will materialize. Therefore, religious duties are not wrong during his occultation, for the guilt rests on the duty-bound, and not the Imam. We have explained similar cases in the books we referred to, and we will mention them should the need arise in future.



Hadith #10

وأما الكلام في الفصل الثاني:فهو مبني على المغالطة ولا نقول:إنه لم يفهم ما أورده، لان الرجل كان فوق ذلك لكن أراد التلبيس والتمويه(في قوله): إن دليل وجوب الرئاسة ينتقض بحال الغيبة، لان كون الناس مع رئيس مهيب متصرف أبعد من القبيح لو اقتضى كونه لطفا واجبا على كل حال وقبح التكليف مع فقده لا نتقض بزمان الغيبة(لانا في زمان الغيبة)فلم يقبح التكليف مع فقده، فقد وجد الدليل ولا مدلول وهذا نقض.

As for the second part of his argument: It is based on his own words. We do not say that he did not understand what he said, for he is better than that; however, he desired to misguide and disguise lunacy in lucidity, by saying, “The argument for necessity of leadership stands violated by occultation, since if the fact that an awe-inspiring Imam, who is in charge of affairs keeps people away from wrong, renders his presence a necessary grace in all ages and religious obligations without him unjust, this would be violated during occultation and conferment of obligation would not be wrong in his absence. Therefore, the argument leads to a conclusion that does not exist. And this is a contradiction.”



Hadith #11

وإنما قلنا: إنه تمويه لانه ظن أنا نقول: إن في حال الغيبة دليل وجوب الامامة قائم ولا إمام فكان نقضا، ولا نقول ذلك، بل دليلنا في حال وجود الامام بعينه هو دليل حال غيبته، في أن في الحالين الامام لطف فلا نقول:إن زمان الغيبة خلا من وجوب رئيس، بل عندنا أن الرئيس حاصل، وإنما ارتفع انبساط يده لما يرجع إلى المكلفين على ما بيناه، لا لان انبساط يده خرج من كونه لطفا بل وجه اللطف به قائم، وإنما لم يحصل لما يرجع إلى غير الله. فجرى مجرى أن يقول قائل:كيف يكون معرفة الله تعالى لطفا مع أن الكافر لا يعرف الله، فلما كان التكليف على الكافر قائما والمعرفة مرتفعة دل على أن المعرفة ليست لطفا على كل حال لانها لو كانت كذلك لكان ذلك نقضا.

We said this is disguising lunacy in lucidity, because he presupposes that we say that proof for existence of the Imam stands during occultation while there is no Imam, which is a contradiction. However, we do not say that. Rather, our proof during the presence of the Imam is the very same proof during his occultation, for the Imam is grace in both conditions. We don’t say that the leader does not exist during occultation; rather, we maintain that the leader exists, however, due to the behavior of the duty-bound, he does not administer the affairs of society, not that his administration of society is not a grace anymore. Rather, it is grace as ever. And it has not materialized due to reasons not endorsed by Allah. This is similar to the following argument: “How can the knowledge of the existence of God be grace, while the infidel does not know about God’s existence? Since the infidel is obliged with duties and he is not blessed with faith, it proves that the knowledge of God’s existence and faith is not always grace, because if it were, it would be self-contradictory.”



Hadith #12

وجوابنا في الامامة كجوابهم في المعرفة من أن الكافر لطفه قائم بالمعرفة وإنما فوت نفسه بالتفريط في النظر المؤدي إليها فلم يقبح تكليفه، فكذلك نقول:الرئاسة لطف للمكلف في حال الغيبة، وما يتعلق بالله من إيجاده حاصل، وإنما ارتفع تصرفه وانبساط يده لامر يرجع إلى المكلفين فاستوى الامران، والكلام في هذه المعنى مستوفى أيضا بحيث ذكرناه.

Our response to the query of Imamate is same as their response in the query of faith; belief in God is grace as ever with regard to the infidel, but he has failed to gain it, because of his failure to think, which would have led him to this belief, and therefore, imposing religious duties on him is not wrong. Similarly, we say that Imamate is grace for the duty-bound during occultation; and God has provided all that He must provide in order for this Imamate to materialize. However, his administration of the society is not materialized, because of the duty-bound themselves. Therefore, the responses to both queries are the same, but in this instance we have explained in sufficient detail.



Hadith #13

وأما الكلام في الفصل الثالث: من قوله:إن الفائدة بالامامة هي كونه مبعدا من القبيح على قولكم، وذلك لم يحصل مع غيبته، فلم ينفصل وجوده من عدمه، فإذا لم يختص وجوده غائبا بوجه الوجوب الذي ذكروه لم يقتض دليلكم وجوب وجوده مع الغيبـة، دليلكم مع أنه منتقض حيث وجد مع انبساط اليد، ولم يجب انبساط اليد مع الغيبة، فهو غير متعلق بوجود إمام غير منبسط اليد ولا هو حاصل في هذه الحال.

Reply to the third objection: “The benefit of Imamate according to you is that it takes people away from evil acts. However, this cannot be achieved with the Imam in hiding and therefore, his existence and non-existence are not much different. As his hidden existence does not correspond to his necessary existence you have argued for, your argument – despite being contradicted when he is found administering the society, and administering the society is not necessary during occultation – doesn’t lead to the existence of an Imam, who is not running the affairs of society and neither in occultation the control of Imam on the society is proved.



Hadith #14

فإنا نقول: إنه لم يفعل في هذا الفصل أكثر من تعقيد القول على طريقة المنطقيين من قلب المقدمات ورد بعضها على بعض، ولا شك أنه قصد بذلك المتويه والمغالطة، وإلا فالامر أوضح من أن يخفى. ومتى قالت الامامية: إن انبساط يد الامام لا يجب في حال الغيبة حتى يقول:دليلكم لا يدل على وجوب إمام غير منبسط اليد، لان هذه حال الغيبة، بل الذي صرحنا به دفعة بعد أخرى أن انبساط يده واجب في الحالين (في) حال ظهوره وحال غيبته، غير أن حال ظهوره مكن منه فانبسطت يده وحال الغيبة لم يمكن فانقبضت يده، لا أن انبساط يده خرج من باب الوجوب. وبينا أن الحجة بذلك قائمة على المكلفين من حيث منعوه ولم يمكنوه فأتوا من قبل نفوسهم، وشبهنا ذلك بالمعرفة دفعة بعد أخرى.

We reply that the opponent has only complicated his argument, as logicians say, by turning around premises and referring them to one another. Obviously, he has intended to disguise lunacy beneath lucidity and fallacy beneath logic. Otherwise, the subject is clearer than to be ambiguous. When has the Imamiyah said that the administration of affairs by the Imam is not necessary during occultation, so it could be said your proof does not prove the necessity of existence of an Imam who is not administering the society, because this is the time of occultation? On the contrary, what we have stated time and again is that his administration of society is necessary in all conditions – his occultation as well as his appearance. However, during his appearance he is able to administer the society and he does that, and during occultation he is unable to perform that and does not do it, because it does not remain obligatory anymore. We explained that the duty-bound are to be blamed for this, as they prohibited him; they did not empower him, and took on the task themselves. We compared this to the subject of faith in God time and again.



Hadith #15

وأيضا فإنا نعلم أن نصب الرئيس واجب بعد الشرع لما في نصبه من اللطف لتحمله للقيام بما لا يقوم به غيره، ومع هذا فليس التمكين واقعا لأهل الحل والعقد من نصب من يصلح لها خاصة على مذهب أهل العدل الذين كلامنا معهم، ومع هذا لا يقول أحد: إن وجوب نصب الرئيس سقط الآن من حيث لم يقع التمكين منه.

We also know that once religious duties have been imposed, Imamate is necessary, because assigning him bears a grace and he performs duties, which no one else can. One has to bear in mind that empowering and assigning the right person is not in the capacity of “those having a say” (Ahle hal wa Aqd), especially so according to the followers of justice, the category this opponent belongs to.



Hadith #16

فجوابنا في غيبة الإمام جوابهم في منع أهل الحل والعقد من اختيار من يصلح للإمامة، ولا فرق بينهما فإنما الخلاف بيننا أنا قلنا:علمنا ذلك عقلا، وقالوا ذلك معلوم شرعا، وذلك فرق من غير موضع الجمع.

Therefore, no one says that the necessity of appointing the leader is diminished now as his empowerment is not possible. Our answer with respect to the occultation of the Imam is the same as their answer to the incapacity of “those having a say” with respect to choosing a suitable candidate for Imamate. The only difference is that we say we know this through reason and they say it is known through Islamic law (Shariah), which is a difference that does not divide us on the issue.



Hadith #17

فإن قيل:أهل الحل والعقد إذا لم يمكنوا من اختيار من يصلح للامامة فإن الله يفعل ما يقوم مقام ذلك من الألطاف فلا يجب إسقاط التكليف، وفي الشيوخ من قال إن الامام يجب نصبه في الشرع لمصالح دنياوية، وذلك غير واجب أن يفعل لها اللطف.

If it is said: When “those having a say” lack the power to choose one who is best for Imamate, Allah bestows other graces (altaf), which take the place of an Imam who is in power. Therefore, religious commands remain intact and are not relinquished. Some teachers (Shaykhs) have said that the appointment of an Imam is necessary in Shariah for worldly expediencies, and it is not necessary that Allah bestows grace when a worldly benefit is missing.



Hadith #18

قلنا: أما من قال: نصب الإمام لمصالح دنياوية قوله يفسد:لأنه لو كان كذلك لما وجب إمامته، ولا خلاف بينهم في أنه يجب إقامة الإمام مع الاختيار. على أن ما يقوم به الإمام من الجهاد وتولية الأمراء والقضاة وقسمة الفئ واستيفاء الحدود والقصاصات أمور دينية لا يجوز تركها، ولو كان لمصلحة دنياوية لما وجب ذلك، فقوله ساقط بذلك.

We would reply: The idea that the appointment of the Imam is for worldly expediencies is false, for if it were as such, his appointment would not have been obligatory, whereas they have no disagreement that establishing Imamate is obligatory when possible. Additionally, the many affairs, which the Imam leads – such as Jihad, overseeing the governors and judges, distributing spoils, executing penalties and punishments – they are religious matters that cannot be abandoned. If they were for worldly expediencies, they would not be obligatory. Therefore, his argument is not binding.



Hadith #19

وأما من قال: يفعل الله ما يقوم مقامه باطل، لأنه لو كان كذلك لما وجب عليه إقامة الإمام مطلقا على كل حال، ولكان يكون ذلك من باب التخيير، كما نقول في فروض الكفايات.وفي علمنا بتعيين ذلك ووجوبه على كل حال دليل على فساد ما قالوه. على أنه يلزم على الوجهين جميعا المعرفة. بأن يقال: الكافر إذا لم يحصل له المعرفة يفعل الله له ما يقوم مقامها، فلا يجب عليه المعرفة على كل حال.

As for the theory that Allah will do something to take the place of the Imam; it is a void idea, since if it were as such, it would not be required to appoint an Imam in all conditions, even when it were possible, and it would be only a matter of choice, like the Kifayee obligations. The fact that we know that the appointment of the Imam is necessary in all conditions indicates the falsity of their assertion. Besides, either way the logic of this reasoning encourages that when the infidel does not attain belief in Allah, He will do him a grace that takes the place of belief in Him, which leads to the conclusion that belief in Allah is not always necessary. Or a parallel argument would follow that; because restraint from oppression is attained when one has faith is a worldly expediency, belief in Allah should not be necessary for it.



Hadith #20

أو يقال: إن ما يحصل من الانزجار عن فعل الظلم عند المعرفة أمر دنياوي لا يجب لها المعرفة، فيجب من ذلك إسقاط وجوب المعرفة، ومتى قيل:إنه لا بدل للمعرفة، قلنا:وكذلك لا بدل للامام على ما مضى- وذكرناه في تلخيص الشافي-وكذلك إن بينوا أن الانزجار من القبيح عند المعرفة أمر ديني قلنا:مثل ذلك في وجود الإمام سواء.

If it should be argued that there is no alternative to belief in Allah, on the same grounds we will assert that there is no alternative to the Imam. We have explained this fully in Talkhis Shafi. Likewise, if they should explain that abstinence from wrong when one has belief is a religious matter, we would assert that its analogy in the being of the Imam is the same.



Hadith #21

فإن قيل:لا يخلو وجود رئيس مطاع منبسط اليد من أن يجب على الله جميع ذلك أو يجب علينا جميعه أو يجب على الله إيجاده وعلينا بسط يده.

If it is said: Given the existence of a leader, who is obeyed and runs the affairs of the society is necessary, either it is all the work of Allah to offer, or it is for Allah to create him and for us to empower him with the administration of the society, or it is required of us both to create and empower him.



Hadith #22

فإن قلتم: يجب جميع ذلك على الله، فإنه ينتقض بحال الغيبة لأنه لم يوجد إمام منبسط اليد، وإن وجب علينا جميعه فذلك تكليف ما لا يطاق، لانا لا نقدر على إيجاده، وإن وجب عليه إيجاده وعلينا بسط يده وتمكينه فما دليلكم عليه، مع أن فيه أنه يجب علينا أن نفعل ما هو لطف للغير، وكيف يجب على زيد بسط يد الإمام لتحصيل لطف عمرو، وهل ذلك إلا نقض الأصول.

1- If you say all of that is necessary for Allah, your assertion will be contradicted by the time of occultation, as He has not created an Imam who is running the society. 2- If it is required of us to do it all, it is a task that we do not have the capacity to perform, for we do not have the ability to create him. 3- If you say that it is obligatory on Him to create him and for us to invest him with power and authority of administration, then first, what is your proof? Also, it proceeds that we should be required to do something, which is actually a grace for someone else. How would it be possible that Zaid be required to empower the Imam so Amr’s grace can be materialized? Is it not violation of principle?



Hadith #23

قلنا: الذي نقوله أن وجود الإمام المنبسط اليد إذا ثبت أنه لطف لنا على ما دللنا عليه ولم يكن إيجاده في مقدورنا لم يحسن أن نكلف إيجاده لأنه تكليف ما لا يطاق، وبسط يده وتقوية سلطانه قد يكون في مقدورنا وفي مقدور الله، فإذا لم يفعل الله تعالى علمنا أنه غير واجب عليه وأنه واجب علينا، لانه لابد من أن يكون منبسط اليد ليتم الغرض بالتكليف، وبينا بذلك أن بسط يده لو كان من فعله تعالى لقهر الخلق عليه، والحيلولة بينه وبين أعدائه وتقوية أمره بالملائكة ربما أدى إلى سقوط الغرض بالتكليف، وحصول الالجاء، فإذا يجب علينا بسط يده على كل حال وإذا لم نفعله أتينا من قبل نفوسنا.

We would reply: Since the existence of an Imam with authority to administer the society is proved to be a grace, due to the arguments we have established for this purpose, and as his creation is not in our power, it would not be right that we should be required to create him, for it would be assigning a duty that is beyond our capacity. As for empowering him with administrative affairs and strengthening his rule, many a time it is within our capacity and the capacity of Allah. However, when He does not do that, we infer that it is not necessary for Him to do so and that it is necessary for us, because he must be in charge of the affairs so the purpose of the divinely-ordained duties is materialized. We explained that should investing administrative powers be the work of Allah, the Exalted, He would compel the creation to that purpose. However, coming between him and his enemies, strengthening his command through angels would lose the purpose of the divinely-ordained duties and lead to compulsion. Therefore, it is our duty to empower him in every condition and should we not do that, it is something that we have done ourselves.



Hadith #24

فأما قولهم: في ذلك إيجاب اللطف علينا للغير غير صحيح. لأنا نقول: إن كل من يجب عليه نصرة الإمام وتقوية سلطانه له في ذلك مصلحة تخصه، وإن كانت فيه مصلحة يرجع إلى غيره كما نقوله في أن الأنبياء يجب عليهم تحمل أعباء النبوة والأداء إلى الخلق ما هو مصلحة لهم، لأن لهم في القيام بذلك مصلحة تخصهم وإن كانت فيها مصلحة لغيرهم. ويلزم المخالف في أهل الحل والعقد بأن يقال:كيف يجب عليهم اختيار الإمام لمصلحة ترجع إلى جميع الامة، وهل ذلك إلا إيجاب الفعل عليهم لما يرجع إلى مصلحة غيرهم، فأي شيء أجابوا به فهو جوابنا بعينه سواء.

As for their assertion that this amounts to procuring grace for someone else, it is incorrect, because we say, each person who helps the Imam and strengthens his rule, enjoys a benefit specific for himself, may it carry expediency for others as well. It is like what you say about the apostles that their carriage of the burden of Prophethood and delivery of message to the public bears expediency for others. This requires the opponent to answer a query about “those having a say” - how is it that it is obligatory on them to choose an Imam for expediencies that encompass the entire Ummah and is it not requiring one to do something that benefits someone else? Whatever may be your justification with regard to the situation of the apostles is our very answer here.



Hadith #25

فإن قيل: لم زعمتم أنه يجب إيجاده في حال الغيبة وهلا جاز أن يكون معدوما. قلنا:إنما أوجبنا (ذلك) من حيث إن تصرفه الذي هو لطفنا إذا لم يتم إلا بعد وجوده وإيجاده لم يكن في مقدورنا، قلنا عند ذلك:أنه يجب على الله ذلك وإلا أدى إلى أن لا نكون مزاحي العلة بفعل اللطف فنكون أتينا من قبله تعالى لا من قبلنا، وإذا أوجده ولم نمكنه من انبساط يده أتينا من قبل نفوسنا فحسن التكليف وفي الأول لم يحسن.

Objection: “Why do you believe that he must exist during occultation, and why is it not possible that he does not exist?” Reply: We will respond that we consider his existence necessary for the following: His administration of the affairs and leadership of the society, which is grace with respect to us, is not possible without his existence. And as his creation is not in our capacity, we said it is obligatory on Allah, or else it would mean that we are not the missing part of the cause of materialization of grace, meaning that, missing the grace is His act and not ours. However, if He creates him, but we do not vest the power of running the society in him, it is our act, and therefore, ordainment of duties is correct, whereas in the previous supposition it would be incorrect.



Hadith #26

فإن قيل: ما الذي تريدون بتمكيننا إياه؟ أتريدون أن نقصده ونشافهه وذلك لا يتم إلا مع وجوده. قيل لكم:لا يصح جميع ذلك إلا مع ظهوره وعلمنا أو علم بعضنا بمكانه. وإن قلتم: نريد بتمكيننا أن نبخع لطاعته والشد على يده، ونكف عن نصرة الظالمين، ونقوم على نصرته متى دعانا إلى إمامته ودلنا عليها بمعجزته. قلنا لكم: فنحن يمكننا ذلك في زمان الغيبة وإن لم يكن الامام موجودا فيه، فكيف قلتم لا يتم ما كلفناه من ذلك إلا مع وجود الإمام. قلنا:الذي نقوله في هذا الباب ما ذكره المرتضى رحمه الله في الذخيرة وذكرناه في تلخيص الشافي أن الذي هو لطفنا من تصرف الإمام وانبساط يده لا يتم إلا بأمور ثلاثة.

Objection: What do you mean by saying that we should empower him? Do you mean that we find him and converse with him? Reply: That is not possible without him being existent. You will be told that none of that is possible without him being manifest and without us knowing, or someone of us knowing his place. If you say, “We mean by empowering him that we should submit to his obedience, fight under his command, refrain from helping the tyrants and rise to his support when he calls us to his Imamate and proves it to us through his miracles,” we will say to you it is possible for us to do that during occultation, even if it is a time without an Imam. How do you say then what we have been ordained to do cannot be performed without an Imam? Our response here is what Murtadha has mentioned in Dhakhira and what we have mentioned in Talkhis Shafi.



Hadith #27

أحدها: يتعلق بالله وهو إيجاده. والثاني: يتعلق به من تحمل أعباء الامامة والقيام بها. والثالث: يتعلق بنا من العزم على نصرته، ومعاضدته، والانقياد له، فوجوب تحمله عليه فرع على وجوده، لأنه لا يجوز أن يتناول التكليف المعدوم، فصار إيجاد الله إياه أصلا لوجوب قيامه، وصار وجوب نصرته علينا فرعا لهذين الأصلين لأنه إنما يجب علينا طاعته إذا وجد، وتحمل أعباء الامامة وقام بها، فحينئذ يجب علينا طاعته، فمع هذا التحقيق كيف يقال:لم لا يكون معدوما.

The grace that reaches us from the Imam’s running the affairs and administering the society cannot materialize without three elements: One pertains to Allah, and that is that He creates the Imam. The second element pertains to the Imam, which is that he carries the burden of Imamate and performs its duties. The third element pertains to us, and it implies helping, supporting him and submitting to him. The obligation of undertaking the tasks of Imamate is secondary to his existence, for a task cannot be undertaken by a non-existent entity. Therefore, Allah’s creation of him is prior to his obligation of accepting leadership and our obligation of supporting him is secondary to these two elements, because it is obligatory upon us to obey him when he exists and has undertaken to carry the burden of Imamate and perform its tasks. With this reasoning in mind, how can they expect us to be bound to his non-existence and say that His Eminence does not exist?



Hadith #28

فإن قيل: فما الفرق بين أن يكون موجودا مستترا (حتى إذا علم الله منا تمكينه أظهره، وبين أن يكون) معدوما حتى إذا علم منا العزم على تمكينه أوجده. قلنا:لا يحسن من الله تعالى أن يوجب علينا تمكين من ليس بموجود لأنه تكليف ما لا يطاق، فإذا لابد من وجوده.

Objection: What is the difference between him being existent and hidden, and being non-existent until Allah knows our determination to empower him and that is when He creates him? Reply: Our answer will be that it is not worthy of Allah, the Exalted, to oblige us to empower someone who is non-existent, for it is an impossible task. Therefore, he must exist.



Hadith #29

فإن قيل: يوجده الله تعالى إذا علم أنا ننطوي على تمكينه بزمان واحد كما أنه يظهره عند مثل ذلك. قلنــا: وجوب تمكينه والانطواء على طاعته لازم في جميع أحوالنا، فيجب أن يكون التمكين من طاعته والمصير إلى أمره ممكنا في جميع الاحوال وإلا لم يحسن التكليف، وإنما كان يتم ذلك لو لم نكن مكلفين في كل حال لوجوب طاعته والانقياد لأمره، بل كان يجب علينا عند ظهوره والأمر عندنا بخلافه.

Objection: When Allah comes to know that we are prepared to obey him, He would create him. Like according to your belief He will manifest him during his reappearance? Reply: The imperativeness of supporting him and determination to obey him is required in all conditions, which requires that to support and obey him and to follow his path should be possible in all conditions, or else, imposing this duty would be wrong. The suggestion would be relevant if we were not obliged in all conditions to his obedience and submission to his command and rather it were required of us at the time of his appearance. However, the reality is contrary to this.



Hadith #30

s

We address our opponent who desires to convince us of the Imam’s non-existence on the grounds of his occultation and ask him why is it not possible that Allah, the Exalted, enacts the obligation of believing in him as a duty without creating signs and reasons for the validation of such belief, since He knows that we will not consider such signs and reasons, and when He discovers from our condition that we intend to consider them and are determined to think, He creates the reasons and proofs of believing in Him. ثم يقال لمن خالفنا في ذلك وألزمنا عدمه على استتاره:لم لا يجوز أن يكلف الله تعالى المعرفة ولا ينصب عليها دلالة إذا علم أنا لا ننظر فيها، حتى إذا علم من حالنا أنا نقصد إلى النظر ونعزم على ذلك أوجد الادلة ونصبها، فحينئذ ننظر ونقول ما الفرق بين دلالة منصوبة لا ننظر فيها وبين عدمها حتى إذا عزمنا على النظر فيها أوجدها الله تعالى.



Hadith #31

والمثال الذي ذكره من أنه لو أوجب الله علينا أن نتوضأ من ماء بئر معينة لم يكن لها حبل نستقي به، وقال لنا: إن دنوتم من البئر خلقت لكم حبلا تستقون به(من)الماء، فإنه يكون مزيحا لعلتنا، ومتى لم ندن من البئر كنا قد أتينا من قبل نفوسنا لا من قبله تعالى. وكذلك لو قال السيد لعبده وهو بعيد منه: اشتر لي لحما من السوق، فقال:لا أتمكن من ذلك لأنه ليس معي ثمنه، فقال:إن دنوت أعطيتك ثمنه، فإنه يكون مزيحا لعلته، ومتى لم يدن لأخذ الثمن يكون قد أتي من قبل نفسه لا من قبل سيده.

Query: If Allah had made it obligatory on us to make ablution from water of a specific well that does not have a rope for drawing water, but He declared, “Should you approach the well, I would create a rope to draw water,” this would take away any excuse we may have. And should we not approach the well, the misgiving would be our own doing, not Allah’s. Likewise, a master says to his servant, who is far from him, “Buy some meat for me from the market,” and the servant replies, “I cannot do that, because I don’t have money.” The master replies, “If you come to me, I will give you the money.” This will eliminate the slave’s excuse and if he does not come to take the money, it will be his own shortcoming, not his master’s.



Hadith #32

وهذه حال ظهور الامام مع تمكيننا فيجب أن يكون عدم تمكيننا هو السبب في أن لم يظهر في هذه الأحوال لا عدمه، إذ كنا لو مكناه عليه السلام لوجد وظهر.

Same is the case of Imam’s appearance with regard to our duty of providing him help and power. Therefore, it is our lack of providing help and power that is the reason that he has not appeared in these conditions, not his lack of existence. Since if we had provided him help and power, he would have been created and would have appeared.



Hadith #33

قلنا: هذا كلام من يظن أنه يجب علينا تمكينه إذا ظهر ولا يجب علينا ذلك في كل حال، ورضينا بالمثال الذي ذكره، لأنه تعالى لو أوجب علينا الاستقاء في الحال لوجب أن يكون الحبل حاصلا في الحال لأن به تزاح العلة، لكن إذا قال:متى دنوتم من البئر خلقت لكم الحبل إنما هو مكلف للدنو لا للاستقاء فيكفي القدرة على الدنو في هذه الحال، لأنه ليس بمكلف للاستقاء منها، فإذا دنا من البئر صار حينئذ مكلفا للاستقاء، فيجب عند ذلك أن يخلق له الحبل، فنظير ذلك أن لا يجب علينا في كل حال طاعة الإمام وتمكينه فلا يجب عند ذلك وجوده، فلما كانت طاعته واجبة في الحال ولم نقف على شرطه ولا وقت منتظر وجب أن يكون موجودا لتزاح العلة في التكليف ويحسن.

Reply: This presupposes that it is obligatory on us to provide him help and power when he appears and not in every condition. Even if we agree to the example he mentions, his argument is not valid, because if Allah, the Exalted, has ordained us to draw out water now, it is necessary that the rope should be existent right now, because that is what eliminates excuse. However, if He says: If you approach the well, I will create a rope for you, obligation is to approach, not to draw out water. Therefore, the ability to approach is what is sufficient at that time, because one is not required to draw out water from the well, yet. It is when he approaches the well that he becomes ordained to draw out water, and then it is necessary that He creates the rope for him. An analogous instance to this would be that if it were not obligatory on us in every condition to obey the Imam and empower him, in such times, his existence would not have been necessary.



Hadith #34

والجواب: عن مثال السيد مع غلامه مثل ذلك لأنه إنما كلفه الدنو منه لا الشراء، فإذا دنا منه وكلفه الشراء وجب عليه إعطاء الثمن. ولهذا قلنا: إن الله تعالى كلف من يأتي إلى يوم القيامة ولا يجب أن يكونوا موجودين مزاحي العلة لأنه لم يكلفهم الآن، فإذا أوجدهم وأزاح علتهم في التكليف بالقدرة والآلة ونصب الادلة حينئذ تناولهم التكليف، فسقط بذلك هذه المغالطة.

However, since his obedience is obligatory in the present, and we do not find obedience to him to be stipulated with any condition or a specific time, it follows that he must be existent, so the legitimate excuse of the divinely ordained duties is removed and such duties become fair. The response to the example of the master and his slave is the same, because he ordered his servant to approach him at present, not to buy. And when he approaches him and he requires him to buy, he must give him the money. That is why we said that Allah, the Exalted, has set obligations for all who will come until Judgment Day, and it is not necessary that they should be existent and without legitimate excuses, for He has not set obligations over them now; when He creates them and removes their excuses with respect to the duties by granting them power and instruments and setting proofs, then the duties will be imposed on them. In this way, the misunderstanding of our opponent regarding the existence of the Imam is rendered invalid.



Hadith #35

على أن الامام إذا كان مكلفا للقيام بالامر وتحمل أعباء الامامة كيف يجوز أن يكون معدوما وهل يصح تكليف المعدوم عند عاقل، وليس لتكليفه ذلك تعلق بتمكيننا أصلا، بل وجوب التمكين علينا فرع على تحمله على ما مضى القول فيه، وهذا واضح.

Besides, if the Imam bears the Divine duty of establishing order and carries the burden of Imamate, how is it possible for him to be non-existent? Would any sane person see it fair to commission someone non-existent with acts and duties? Bear in mind that these duties of his are not stipulated to our empowerment of him at all, but rather, our obligation of empowering and strengthening him is secondary to him carrying out these duties, as explained before and as is very much clear.



Hadith #36

ثم يقال لهم: أليس النبي صلى الله عليه وآله اختفى في الشعب ثلاث سنين لم يصل إليه أحد، واختفى في الغار ثلاثة أيام ولم يجز قياسا على ذلك أن يعدمه الله تعالى تلك المدة مع بقاء التكليف على الخلق الذين بعثه لطفا لهم. ومتى قالوا: إنما اختفى بعدما دعا إلى نفسه وأظهر نبوته فلما أخافوه استتر. قلنا:وكذلك الإمام لم يستتر إلا وقد أظهر آباؤه موضعه وصفته، ودلوا عليه، ثم لما خاف عليه أبوه الحسن بن علي عليهم السلام أخفاه وستره، فالأمران إذا سواء، ثم يقال لهم: خبرونا لو علم الله من حال شخص أن من مصلحته أن يبعث الله إليه نبيا معينا يؤدي إليه مصالحه وعلم أنه لو بعثه لقتله هذا الشخص، ولو منع من قتله قهرا كان فيه مفسدة له أو لغيره، هل يحسن أن يكلف هذا الشخص ولا يبعث إليه ذلك النبي، أو لا يكلف.

Moreover, the opponents are asked: Did not the Messenger of Allah (s) hide in Sheb Abu Talib for three years, where no one was able to reach him? Did he not hide in the Cave for three days? Why don’t you apply the analogy there as well that Allah should discontinue his existence for that period, while keeping the duties over public for whom He sent him as a grace? If they say that he hid after he called the people to his message and manifested his Prophethood, and when they threatened him, he went into hiding. We will respond that likewise the Imam did not go into hiding, but after his forefathers manifested his position and qualities and guided the people to him, and when his father Hasan Ibne Ali (a.s) feared for his life, he hid him. Therefore, both situations are identical. To clarify the matter further, we tell them: Allah discerns from the condition of a person that it is in the best of his interest that He sends a particular prophet to him who will inform him of what is good for him, and He knows that should He send the said apostle, this person will kill him. If He prohibits him from killing the apostle through force, would it not be disadvantageous for him and others?



Hadith #37

فإن قالوا: لا يكلف. قلنا: وما المانع منه، وله طريق إلى معرفة مصالحه بأن يمكن النبي من الأداء إليه. وإن قلتم: يكلفه ولا يبعث إليه. قلنا: وكيف يجوز أن يكلفه ولم يفعل به ما هو لطف له مقدور.

Is it fair that this person should be bound by divinely-ordained duties while an apostle has not been sent to him, or should he not be bound by these duties? If they say that he should not be bound, we ask them: Why not if it allows him to know what is best for him by empowering the apostle to deliver to him the message? And if he says: He was made duty-bound by Allah, but the prophet is not sent to him. We will ask: How can these duties be imposed on him when the necessary grace has not been bestowed to him [a prophet is not sent to him]?



Hadith #38

فإن قالوا: أتي في ذلك من قبل نفسه. قلنا: هو لم يفعل شيئا وإنما علم أنه لا يمكنه، وبالعلم لا يحسن تكليفه مع ارتفاع اللطف، ولو جاز ذلك لجاز أن يكلف ما لا دليل عليه إذا علم أنه لا ينظر فيه، وذلك باطل، ولابد أن يقال: إنه يبعث إلى ذلك الشخص ويوجب عليه الانقياد له ليكون مزيحا لعلته، فإما أن يمنع منه بما لا ينافي التكليف، أو يجعله بحيث لا يتمكن من قتله، فيكون قد أتي من قبل نفسه في عدم الوصول إليه، وهذه حالنا مع الإمام في حال الغيبة سواء.

If they say that it is by his own choice, we will say that he has not done anything. Only Allah knew that he will not allow the apostle and knowing this does not justify that he should be bound by duties, which he does not know. If this should be fair, then it is fair that anyone should be bound by duties he does not know when Allah knows that he will not consider them. It is an absurd supposition. Thus it must be said that Allah will send the apostle to him and require him to submit to him to eliminate any legitimate excuse, and then He will protect His apostle through means, which do not violate free-will, or renders him unable to kill the apostle, in which case he will not be able to reach him through his own acts. This is our same situation with the Imam during occultation.



Hadith #39

فإن قال: لابد أن يعلمه أن له مصلحة في بعثة هذا الشخص إليه على لسان غيره ليعلم أنه قد أتي من قبل نفسه. قلنا: وكذلك أعلمنا الله على لسان نبيه صلى الله عليه وآله والائمة من آبائه عليهم السلام موضعه، وأوجب علينا طاعته، فإذا لم يظهر لنا علمنا أنا أتينا من قبل نفوسنا فاستوى الأمران.

If it is said: He must inform him through someone other than the apostle that it is in his interest that the apostle is sent to him, so he may know it is his own wrongdoing, our reply will be that on parallel grounds, Allah has informed us through His Messenger and Imams (his forefathers), the Imam’s position and obliged us to obey him; and if we do not know what we should do, it is our own guilt, hence the similarity between two situations.